AIS Team Quarterly Update (2021 Q3)

Posted on Oct 26, 2021 in Main, slider

Want updates on all Hawaii’s Invasive species? This update from the AIS Team was provided to the Hawaii Invasive Species Council(HISC) as part of their quarterly newsletter! 

HISC News is a quarterly newsletter that provides:

  1. Recurring updates from active response efforts
  2. Announcements and programmatic updates from agencies and partners
  3. Upcoming events. This newsletter is sent to the full HISC email list, and readers can subscribe/unsubscribe at


View the full HISC update for July-September HERE.



  • The Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Field Team worked with NOAA and USFW to resurvey the M/V Cape Flattery grounding site. Teams worked to document coral regrowth in the damaged areas, as well as baseline surrounding areas. The M/V Cape Flattery grounded in coral reef habitat off Barbers Point (Kalaeloa), Oahu on February 2, 2005. More about this grounding here:


  • Original urchin out planting targets have been met for the Waikiki MLCD. Bi-annual surveys are scheduled for November and the team will continue to monitor the area for the next 5 years.


  • DAR’s AIS field team provided continued vessel and diver support to a pilot Avrainvillea erecta control study led by Liv Wheeler, a UH student in Dr. Celia Smith’s lab. This pilot project aims to study possible treatment options for Avrainvillea erecta, an invasive algae first discovered in Hawaii in 2014.
    Sea urchin surveys 

  • The DAR AIS field team, in collaboration with the DAR coral restoration team, worked with DAR biologists on Kauai to remove invasive corals on the northern shore. The AIS field team hired a new Habitat and Fish Monitoring Coordinator specializing in invasive algae projects The AIS field team and the Ballast Water and Biofouling conducted a hull inspection on a vessel intending to go to the NWHI to document signs of biofouling that could be transferred on the voyage.
    Biofouling example 

  • The AIS field team investigated and photographed two unexploded ordinances (UXOs) that had been located in Kāneʻohe Bay to collect baseline data of the benthic community before they were removed. After the removal, the team went back to document the area by taking data and photos. Orthoimagery was used to take pictures before removal. Orthoimagery utilizes software to stitch together hundreds of close-up benthic photos to make one high-resolution final photo.   
    Unexploded ordinance

  • Two new placements have started through the Kupu Conservation Leadership Development Program. One has joined the Ballast Water and Biofouling (BWBF) team for a second year-long term supporting current projects and developing an independent research project based around ballast water risk assessment. The second will be joining the AIS field team to assist with monitoring, outreach, and remediation of invasive species.


  • The BWBF Coordinator and Planner participated in 10 VIDA State Engagement discussions with representatives from the EPA, US Coast Guard, and multiple coastal states. The BWBF Planner collaborated with other Pacific states to determine the next steps for working with the EPA on VIDA implementation.


  • The BWBF Coordinator presented on Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease at the CGAPS quarterly meeting. The BWBF Planner will be working with stakeholders through the USCRTF Coral Disease Working Group on planning a SCTLD biosecurity regulation workshop and developing outreach materials.